Miniseries of The Magus in the Works

Sam Mendes and his partners at Neal Street Productions have announced plans to produce a major TV miniseries adaptation of John Fowles’ magnum opus The Magus. The British director believes the twisting, layered plot of the 1966 bestseller will be well- suited to television. 

Magus Miniseries Sam Mendes

Director Sam Mendes (fourth from left) with the cast and crew of “1917,” winner of Best Drama Motion Picture at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards.

“Like many people, I read and loved it as a teenager,” said Mendes, director of classic dramas such as Revolutionary Road, American Beauty, Road to Perdition and recent Golden Globe winner 1917. “There are lots of modern classics like this one which were compressed into movies in the past and perhaps lost something by squeezing them, instead of telling them over several hours.”  

The Magus was made into a movie in 1968 starring Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn and Candice Bergen, with a screenplay by John Fowles himself. While not without merit, the film was almost universally panned: Fowles called it “a disaster all the way down the line,” and Woody Allen was quoted as saying that if he had his life to live over again, he would want everything exactly the same with the exception of seeing the film version of The Magus.

(Click here to read “Bringing The Magus to the Screen—How to Do It Right This Time”).

Johan Renck, who directed last year’s Emmy-winning miniseries Chernobyl, is in negotiations with Neal Street Productions to direct The Magus miniseries. The writer will be Tom Edge, who wrote the screenplay for the recent film Judy (for which Renée Zellweger won an Oscar) and also several episodes of The Crown.

Watch this page for updates regarding The Magus miniseries project as they become available.